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[ Also see Ability Acting Activity Adventure Deeds Doing Effort Employment Excitement Exercise Exertion Idleness Inaction Inactivity Labor Life Man Quiet Recreation Rest Sleep Theories Thought Vivacity Work ]

What a man knows should find its expression in what he does. The value of superior knowledge is chiefly in of that it leads to a performing manhood.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

Act as if it were impossible to fail.
      - Dorothea Brande, Wake Up and Live!

Newton's great generalization, which he called the "third law of motion," was that "Action and reaction are always equal to each other;" and that law has been one of the most pregnant of all truths about the mystery of force;--one of the brightest windows through which modern eyes have looked into the world of Nature.
      - Phillips Brooks

That low man seeks a little thing to do,
  Sees it and does it;
    This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
      Dies ere he knows it.
        That low man goes on adding one to one,
          His hundreds soon hit:
            His high man, aiming at a million,
              Misses an unit.
      - Robert Browning, A Grammarian's Funeral

The food of hope is meditative action.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
      - attributed to Edmund Burke

What's done we partly may compute,
  But know not what's resisted.
      - Robert Burns, Address to Unco Guild
         (st. 8)

Let us do or die.
      - Robert Burns, Bannockburn

Put his shoulder to the wheel.
      - Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
         (pt. II, sect. I, memb. 2)

Let us do or die.
      - Thomas Campbell

To-morrow let us do or die.
      - Thomas Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming
         (pt. III, st. 37)

Always do whatever's next.
      - George Carlin

Action hangs, as it were, "dissolved in speech; in thoughts whereof speech is the shadow; and precipitates itself therefrom. The kind of speech in man betokens the kind of action you will get from him.
      - Thomas Carlyle

Hast thou not Greek enough to understand thus much: the end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were of the noblest.
      - Thomas Carlyle

It is not to taste sweet things; but to do noble and true things, and vindicate himself under God's heaven as a God-made man, that the poorest son of Adam dimly longs. Show him the way of doing that, the dullest day-drudge kindles into a hero. They wrong man greatly who say he is to be seduced by ease. Difficulty, abnegation, martyrdom, death, are the allurements that act on the heart of man. Kindle the inner genial life of him, you have a flame that burns up all lower considerations.
      - Thomas Carlyle

Our grand business undoubtedly is, not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
      - Thomas Carlyle

The end of man is an action, and not thought, though it were the noblest.
      - Thomas Carlyle, quoting Aristotle

Act as if you were already happy and that will tend to make you happy.
      - Dale Carnegie

The best way to keep good acts in memory is to refresh them with new.
      - attributed to Cato (Marcus Porcius Cato "The Elder") (a/k/a Cato the Censor),
        Apothegms (no. 247), by Bacon

A comptemplative life has more the appearance of a life of piety than any other; but it is the Divine plan to bring faith into activity and exercise.
      - Lord David Cecil (Edward Christian David Cecil)

Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that wild vibrate in eternity.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

He is at no end of his actions blest
  Whose ends will make greatest and not best.
      - George Chapman,
        Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron
         (act V, sc. 1)

With a double vigilance should we watch our actions, when we reflect that good and bad ones are never childless, and that in both cases the offspring goes beyond the parent,--every good begetting a better, every bad a worse.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)

What one has, one ought to use; and whatever he does he should do with all his might.
  [Lat., Quod est, eo decet uti: et quicquid agas, agere pro viribus.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Senectute (IX)

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